Another of the merlin with mush
This time more of a rear view, which I like as it shows the feather detail. I love the metallic blue-grey colouring.
A few people lower down thanked me for the description, but apart from saying I was laying down to take this I did not say much else, so I'm adding a bit more detailed info in case anyone wants to recreate this look.
Basically the foreground blur is caused by elements, in this case grass, which is too close to the lens for it to focus on. Then by using the lens wide open, in this case f4 the DOF is very shallow such that the background also blurs significantly. The key is the focus point, in this case the eye.
The difficulty is getting enough foreground elements to blur, but not so much that it obscures the subject. It works best with natural elements, so in this case a slight bank of grass in front of the bird, and I mean slight, only a rise of 4-6 inches. You can try to fake it by obscuring the lens with a handful of grass, but it does not work in quite the same way and tends to obscure the subject a lot more.
If you want to try this look for yourself one of the easiest ways is to plant a long thin container with grass seed, and wait until the grass is 3-4 inches high. Then place this a few inches in front of your lens with the composition of choice behind. It will help ypu learn about the effect and to begin to compose in this style.
If you do try this in the field, so to speak, an angle finder can be a real plus, especially if you wear glasses.
HTH (I'll post a similar description on the next upload of this style as I know not many people may revisit this one)